95 per cent of surface coating operators in South Australia are complying with all licence conditions.
Following results from a sector compliance report, surface coating operators across the state have been found to be placing the environment first.
Surface coating, which includes metal finishing, hot-dip galvanising and spray painting or powder coating, are covered under Schedule 1 of the Environment Protection Act 1993 (EP Act).
The primary risk to the environment from surface coating is the lack of appropriate bunding of chemicals and liquid waste, potentially resulting in soil and ground or stormwater contamination. Other environmental concerns from the activity are noise and air quality impacts.
Naomi Grey, EPA Manager for South East and Campaigns said it was pleasing to see the greater majority of operators doing the right thing.
“The compliance of almost all of the surface coating sector shows that the industry is taking its responsibilities to protect the environment seriously,” Ms Grey said.
A total of 40 South Australian surface coating operators were inspected by the EPA in late 2019.
The sector compliance report revealed that 80 per cent of surface coaters undertake at least one or more activities of environmental significance.
Out of 520 licence conditions, only 28 breaches were found due to lack of improper storage of liquid waste, with 50 per cent of those due to a lack of appropriate bunding.
“We will continue to monitor and work with operators who were found to have breached the regulations to ensure that they can operate effectively within the EP Act regulations, noting that these are difficult times for the industry during COVID-19 restrictions,” Ms Grey said.
The sector compliance report has set out future actions for the EPA.
“All licensees are expected to undertake correct action to ensure they comply with licence conditions,” the report stated.
“The EPA will continue to monitor these actions and licensees, and take further regulatory action for any ongoing noncompliance and inspect all mobile surface coating businesses,
“Conditions on many surface coating licences will be updated to assist to achieve greater consistency in regulation of the surface coating industry.”